Contemporary Middle School Uniforms Inspired By Sports Team Design

MFA Thesis Exhibit

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Virgil Scott

Thesis Abstract:

The middle-school years provide a critical stage of growth and development for young people. Unfortunately, students start to lose interest in academics while at this level (Clapham 40). This new and uncertain time can sometimes create low self-esteem in young people as they navigate from elementary to middle school (DeWitt). When students become disenchanted with learning during these short, formative, middle-school years, there are lifelong adverse effects as foundational learning is held back (Fredricks, McColskey 3).

This study and exhibition will address the loss of interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subject matter among middle-school students in the United States, with the goal of envisioning a contemporary school uniform design inspired by the visual language and design elements utilized in team sports uniforms. Revealing ways in which the visual semiotic language used by sports teams promotes team pride, as well as a sense of identity for each player, will help guide research into other possible components of student uniforms (e.g., jersey design, the use of color, scale, typographic treatment, and more).

The researcher will identify the current state of school uniforms worn in middle-school learning environments, highlighting their influences pertaining to student learning. In addition, the researcher will examine sports team uniform trends, as well as the visual design vernacular in order to guide the reimagined uniform aesthetic.

This research will guide the creation of a newly envisioned approach to school uniforms with the goal of building a team-based camaraderie among classmates while building interest in STEM subjects through the creation of motivational apparel as a tool for learning.

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